After a slow start to their league campaign, Limerick were looking to bounce back in the Arachas National Cup against County Galway on Saturday. Despite being drawn against a team in the same provincial union, Limerick made the short trip to Lycidan where a superb display with the bat resulted in their highest total so far this year in 276 off just 40 overs. Unfortunately, before a ball was even bowled in the Galway innings, a downpour came in over and lasted until umpire John O’Dea made the call to abandon the tie.Limerick 1st XI vs County Galway: (Top row, l-r) Prasad Hegde, Shani Alam, Arslan Anwar (Capt.), Stephen Hackett, Ajay Hari, Asif Hussein. (Bottom row, l-r) Yogesh Borghare, Arslan Sayyam, Sumukh Venkatesh (wk), Tim Smithies, Mosawar Sidiqui.
Limerick would have been confident of defending such a total as Galway would have needed upwards of 7 runs an over. Yogesh Borghare and Arslan Sayyam opened the batting and took the aerial route to accelerate early on, Sayyam especially finding the boundary on multiple occasions to land his maiden 50 for the 2023 season. Arslan Anwar came in at 3 and slowed things down after a rocket start from his teammates, he was soon to be partnered by Tim Smithies in the middle as they looked to rebuild with the score at 106-2 at drinks.Arslan Sayyam pushes one through mid-on for a single
With 20 overs left and 8 wickets in hand, Limerick were in pole position to kick on once again. Smithies pushed towards another 50 in navy and green before holing out to backward point in the 27th over. Not to worry for the away side, with wickets in hand Limerick could afford to take risks with the bat and thanks to a late flurry from the tail, Limerick accelerated above ten runs an over to finish on 276-9 from 40 overs.Arslan Anwar cuts off the back foot
Defenceless against the conditions bestowed upon them, an abandoned tie means Limerick will host County Galway in a refix this Sunday at the Manor Fields, start time will remain at 1pm.
RESULT| Arachas National Cup.
Match abandoned- no result.
Limerick 1: 276-9 off 40 overs.
Tim Smithies 61
Arslan Sayyam 61
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All the action kicked off on Friday night however where the 3rd XI played the first of their three T20s of the weekend, taking on local rivals Limerick Blasters at home. After winning the toss and electing to bat, Limerick displayed a solid start to the power play with Navroop Johnson characteristically taking the aggressive option during the opening exchanges. It wasn’t long before the Blasters struck back and as the game hung in the balance on 46-2, Limerick’s middle order began to throw away wickets as the run rate slowed down significantly. Skipper Ashokkumar Jayaranam was able to steer the ship for his side but not clear of danger as wickets continued to tumble as he began to run out of partners. Slowly but surely, Limerick scratched and clawed their way to 99-9 for their 20.Limerick 3rd XI vs Limerick Blasters: (Top row, l-r) Akbar Aman, Sayed Anwari, Navroop Johnson (wk), James Spencer, Karthik Karur, Nikul Kedaviya, Shaoib Zazai. (Bottom row, l-r) Tharun Bharati, Ashokkumar Jayaranam (Capt.), Stephen Hackett, Haroon Zazai.
Limerick couldn’t find any luck with the ball as a focussed and smart approach from the away side allowed them to keep the scoreboard ticking risk-free as Limerick could only take wickets sporadically. With just three runs left to seal victory, leg spinner Tharun Bharati picked up a remarkable hat-trick in the 16th over, the final ball a plum LBW which sparked a celebration amongst his team.
RESULT| MCU Division Two T20 Cup Group B.
We lost to Limerick Blasters by 4 wickets
Limerick 3: 99-9 off 20 overs
Ashokkumar Jayaraman 21
Tharun Bharathi 19
Limerick Blasters 2: 101-6 off 17.2 overs
Tharun Bharathi 3-14
Shoaib Zazai 1-6
The 3s then returned on Sunday to take on Nenagh and County Kerry as every team would have now played one game in the pool. The double header meant Limerick went back to back in Adare, the first of which was a thrilling 7 wicket victory in what was an incredible comeback from the home side. Despite the game being reduced to ten overs a side, Nenagh lost only two wickets and put 81 on the board. Limerick in response found it difficult to keep up with the run rate and found themselves needing 34 off 16 balls to rescue victory, an unlikely amount to achieve in just under four overs. A cameo from Aghani youngster Mosawar Sidiqui (22 off 13 balls) was the difference between the two sides, a six off the second ball of the final over enough to do the damage and give Limerick a seven wicket victory.
RESULT| MCU Division Two T20 Cup Group B.
We defeated Nenagh by 7 wickets yesterday (reduced overs).
Nenagh 2: 81-2 off 10 overs.
Zaheer Udin 2-18
Limerick 3: 82-3 off 9.2 overs.
Navroop Johnson 26
Mosawar Sidiqui 22*
With just a single innings played in the second game of the day, umpire Declan Earley ruled that no further play was viable due to adverse weather conditions and abandoned the fixture. Whether the 3s go through to the next stages of the competition will depend on other results elsewhere next weekend.
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In youth cricket, Limerick’s u17 side got their campaign underway on Saturday as they travelled to Lycidan in a game which wasn’t fairly reflected by the scoreboard. Limerick had multiple members of the squad who were already capped at senior level in a team which carried a mix of experience, some players debuting with the hard ball . A good start with the ball including tight spells from Ayan Ullah and Naveed Zazai had the middle order strangled, before some loose bowling towards the latter end of the innings allowed Galway to propel themselves over the century mark to 139-5 off 20 overs.The Limerick U17 team vs County Galway: (Top row, l-r) Tashif Mahmood, Shayan Malik, Olid Mia, Mirhmaza Ahmedzai (Capt.), Irfan Solozai, Shaoib Zazai. (Bottom row, l-r) Abhishek Babu, Ayan Ullah, Naveed Zazai, Sohrab Anwari, Afnan Chaudry.
Limerick created a solid opening partnership in an attempt to not lose wickets early on, openers Abhishek Babu and Shayan Malik establishing a 40-run partnership for the first wicket, Malik in particular displaying an array of strokes around the ground to torment the home side. Nonetheless, the run rate went up above the 10-run an over mark with just 8 overs remaining and Limerick struggled to come to terms with the demands. A procession ensued as the Shannonsider ended up 42 runs shy at the end of play.Abhishek Babu takes aim in the opening exchanges
RESULT| MCU U17 T20 Cup.
We lost to County Galway by 42 runs yesterday.
County Galway u17:139-5 off 20 overs.
Shaoib Zazai 3-22
Naveed Zazai 2-21
Limerick U17: 97-9 off 20 overs.
Shayan Malik 30
Naveed Zazai 9*
Elsewhere, the U13 side were on the wrong side of a two wicket defeat down in the Mardyke against Cork County. Despite the concession of early wickets, Limerick battled back from 50-6 to a respectable total of 92 and pushed the opposition the whole way with the ball until being defeated by a fine margin.
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Next weekend sees the refix of the National Cup game as the main event on Sunday afternoon in Adare but there will be plenty more action on Saturday as the 2nds continue their T20 campaign away to County Kerry at the Oyster Oval. The 4th XI will follow the footsteps of the thirds with a double header on Saturday against Clonmel and County Kerry respectively.